RE: “If you ‘need’ a coffee, then you may have a real mental disorder,” October 19

We are already subjected to enough conflicting health advice without hearing bogus claims that caffeine is an addictive drug.

I experience baseball withdrawal symptoms every October, but Post-World-Series-Disorder shouldn’t be a recognized medical condition.

Roland Griffiths, the researcher responsible for this assault on common sense, isn’t exactly a reliable source. The director of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has already rebutted his claim that caffeine is a “psychoactive drug.” And Griffiths’ earlier caffeine “addiction” study involved just seven human subjects — including himself and a family member.

His latest research also ignores a well-regarded 1999 study which demonstrated that one to three cups of coffee per day had no effect on the region of the brain responsible for addiction.

Griffiths’ conclusion is just plain silly. There are no cash-strapped coffee addicts robbing convenience stores to get their next latte “fix.” If the definition of addiction continues to be stretched to its breaking point, it won’t be long before our children need prescription drugs to break their peanut-butter-sandwich habits.